Top Chef Masters Recap: Taste Test & Date Night

The final six chef’testants are still battling it out to earn the title of Top Chef Master. And since there are so few of them now, I might actually start remembering names! Jumping straight into the action, the chefs learn two harsh realities about the Quickfire.

a)      Immunity is off the table

b)      There is no cooking in this challenge

The taste test is always a fascinating challenge, but since this is Masters the dastardly Magical Elves decided that a blind taste test wasn’t enough – it was also deaf and odorless! Wearing masks, ear muffs and nose plugs, the six chefs had to identify five ingredients by taste alone.

First round consisted of water chestnuts, Worcestershire sauce, mustard greens, papaya and cashews. Floyd clearly was lost without his other senses and missed them all, knocking him out.

Round two was sense of smell only but Traci failed to figured out espossie cheese, hot sauce, root beer, rice wine vinegar and mayonnaise thus getting knocked out as well.

For the third round, touch was the sense and both Naomi and Celina got taken out by a plate of okra, gummy bears, aborino rice, chayote and blackberries. So only Sue and Hughibrow were left for the final challenge: sound.

Using on their ears, the chefs had to identify ingredients in a true game show fashion. The first to three points would win $5,000 for their charity. Alarmingly, both got milk and Rice Crispies wrong, but Hugh beat Mary Sue to breaking celery by a hair.

Neither of them figured out how people down under eat potato chips, but Hugh pulled off an impressive feat by recognizing the sound of shucking an oyster!

For the final call, Hugh nailed it when he called out the sound of buttering toast. It was quite remarkable but part of me almost wishes the show was blacked out for a few seconds to allow the people at home to try and figure out what was happening.

Either way, it was a weird Quickfire but the Elimination Challenge was even weirder because a guy named Chris walked in. He wasn’t famous; it wasn’t part of some cross-promotion or anything. I’m guessing it was someone’s son because nepotism was the only way to explain him even being there.

The challenge was for the chefs to make a six course dinner for 21 couples and at the end; Chris was going to propose to his long-time girlfriend. But each dish was supposed to be inspired by their relationship or something. It was left vague and everyone seemed disinterested in the whole thing.

So between some awful Lexus promotion, Mary Sue cutting off part of her thumb and the realization that Chris has never eaten shellfish, the dishes finally got made.

Floyd went first with his playful Kama Sutra Black Pepper Shrimp with Watermelon, Lime, and Mint which was an awkwardly sensual way to get the evening going. And the watermelon was a reference to the fact that somehow Chris’s girlfriend tricked him into eating salmon by telling him it was chicken. Honestly, there’s something wrong here.

Celina made a disconnected dish of Soft Pretzel with Pale Ale Cheese Sauce, Frisée Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette that left everyone underwhelmed. It’s the final six, and frankly, I don’t think Celina has done anything notable up until this point.

Enraged after losing part of her thumb and being told to hurry up with plating, Mary Sue threw out an amazing looking Mussels and Clams Portuguese Style with Sausages and Wine Broth. But even more amazing was when Curtis fashion a spoon out of a fork and shell! Genius!

Naomi continued her reign of fire with Porcini Braised Chicken Thigh with Sweet Potatoes Two Ways that was rich, hearty and possibly show stealing. But that didn’t matter because it was delicious.

Hugh “cooked down” for the guests by saying they didn’t want high end food and just threw out a New York Strip Steak with Broccoli, Onion Ring, Celery Root Purée, and Bordelaise Sauce. The onion ring was supposed to be a reference to a bracelet Chris bought his girlfriend, but no one else seemed to get it.

Finally Traci threw caution into the wind and decided to make a dessert. Her Pink Lady Apple Galette, Whipped Crème Fraîche, and Caramel Sauce were dry and just desperately needed more moisture. But why would you use pink lady apples in a dessert like that?

So in the end Chris proposed, she said yes and everyone cried as it was revealed to the diners that both of their moms had been hiding in the kitchen. How terribly exciting. Naomi was given the win for her chicken which wowed everyone but seemed to not make any sense in context of the challenge. Floyd was mad he lost yet again, while Mary Sue just seems to stand around smiling while looking adorable.

Traci was called out for her dry dessert and Hugh got a stern talking to about cooking down to guests, but it was Celina who finally got sent home after riding the middle the whole time of this show. Was anyone surprised by this?

Next week looks like a science fair which will be awesome as long as someone has to use Diet Coke and Mentos.